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Barcelona outplay Arsenal, and advance to Champions League quarter-finals

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It’s a stunning victory for the Catalan club as Barcelona has moved into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Wednesday at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona’s big three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were making the kill for Barcelona, sending the reigning champions into the Champions League quarter-finals for a ninth consecutive season with a 5-1 victory on aggregate. Leading the game are Lionel Messi, who scored both goals in a Barca’s 2-0 first-leg win, Luis Suarez and Brazilian striker Neymar.

Holder Barcelona have always been looking for their tenth straight Champions League home victory when they host a match with rival Arsenal on Wednesday. Arsenal will try to avoid defeat against Barcelona, which have beat them previously in their two-legged ties in the Champions League in 2010 and 2011 season.

Arsenal have an uphill battle to face here after Lionel Messi’s two goals in their first leg match which gave Barca a 2-0 victory in London, the fourth time in a row Arsenal have lost at home in their 16 first leg round.

When the two football giants met in the 2010 and 2011 season round of 16, Arsenal came back with vengeance and win the first leg round 2-1 victory for Arsenal. Barcelona returned with a 3-1 second-leg win in which the Argentine striker Messi scored twice.

Brazilian international Neymar opened the scoring goal for Barcelona. Neymar’s early stages strike appeared to erase any forlorn hopes of an Arsenal strong comeback. But the English club were given hope in the 51st minutes of the game when Mohamed Elneny made it through the top corner and threatened to add another before Luis Suarez’s incredible goal in the 65th minutes of the game.

Despite increasing pressure from its adversary, Arsenal continued to create chances as forward Danny Welbeck drilled a shot against the bar from a narrow angle and Marc-Andre ter Stegen continue to produce brilliant double save to turn away Luis Sanchez’s free-kick and Olivier Giroud’s follow-up.

Luis Suarez put the tie beyond Wenger’s men a stunning volley 25 minutes from time before Messi’s cheeky chipped finished the game for Barcelona.

The end of the game came when Messi chipped in Barcelona’s third with two minutes to play in the game, beating goalkeeper Marc-Andreter Stegen.

“We played against the team with the best strikers I have seen,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said, via the Vanguard.

“The three together are exceptional. Messi is incredible. They are two or three players who transform normal life into art,” Wenger added.

The victory on Wednesday means that holder Barcelona are into the last eight of the competition for a record ninth straight season. The win also stretched Barcelona’s unbeaten record run to 38 games and seals their place in Friday’s quarter-finals draw for the ninth consecutive season.

Picture Courtesy: Shal Pal/Wikimedia Commons

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